Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cinnamon & Apple Hill

I love the fragrance of Autumn!!! This season with all its color and deep aroma's, it's intoxicating. I love going to Apple Hill, looking at the foliage turning wonderful colors, and sipping on hot cider early in the morning fog. Our small group goes every year. My second trip out to Sacramento DH took me to Apple Hill, we wandered though many different orchards and farms, it was fantastic.
I think of the aromas when I think of Apple Hill and fall, mainly cinnamon. Cinnamon is added to all of the fall fragrances that I love. So, while driving to class the other night my ears perked up when a listener called in to thank John Tesh about a tip regarding cinnamon in their coffee. I had to search and find out what his comment was. I tried putting cinnamon in my coffee instead of Stevia (natural sweetener) and was pleasantly surprised that it was sweet enough I did not need to add sugar or sweetener.

Here are some of the comments:

"-For a Quick Energy boost. Get a whiff of peppermint or cinnamon! Researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University say that peppermint boosts mood and motivation. So, pop a Tic-Tac, or drink a cup of peppermint tea. Also, studies show that cinnamon improves circulation, alertness, and energy. So, chew some sugar-free cinnamon gum, or add a dash of cinnamon whenever you brew a pot of coffee.

-Cinnamon. Studies have found that it controls blood sugar and lowers cholesterol. Sprinkle it in coffee or on oatmeal. (I have been doing this regularly now, on my old fashion oatmeal.)

-If you’d like to earn the title of “smartest person in the room,” sniff cinnamon. According to psychology professor Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, cinnamon’s aroma appears to increase blood flow to the brain, supplying it with nourishing oxygen and glucose. The scent ALONE raised scores on memory, attention, and mental processing tests. So sniff some cinnamon if you want to stay sharp.

-Stop and smell the cinnamon. A study in Australia found that the aromas of cinnamon or vanilla will set off a wave of feel good endorphins. You don’t even have to eat anything to get the effect!

-When it comes to your morning oatmeal, try sprinkling a teaspoon of cinnamon on top instead of sugar. A recent study by the USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Center found that cinnamon has the double benefit of lowering your blood sugar AND curbing your appetite. So odds are you’ll feel full after only one bowl of oatmeal, instead of two. The 150 calories you’ll save is like saying “no” to 3 chocolate chip cookies.(another site that refers to this)

-If you’ve got a tough test at school – or an important presentation at work – grab the cinnamon! New research at Wheeling Jesuit University finds that cinnamon sharpens cognitive functioning by instantly increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain. In fact, the scent ALONE raised scores on memory, attention, and mental processing tests. So, sprinkle some cinnamon on your oatmeal in the morning if you need to be sharp. Here’s an added health bonus: Cinnamon protects against diabetes and heart disease, and even lowers cholesterol levels.

-If your halitosis comes from drinking coffee: chew some cinnamon gum. Research shows that one stick of Big Red gum has enough germ-killing cinnamon to cut coffee bacteria by about HALF. Cinnamon gum works better than a mint or mouthwash because it creates more saliva, which washes away food particles. Saliva is a natural antibiotic that decreases the number of bad bacteria in your mouth.

-Cinnamon. It helps control your blood sugar, which decreases your risk of heart disease. In fact, USDA researchers found that people with type-2 diabetes who consumed one gram of cinnamon a day – that’s about a quarter of a teaspoon – for 6 weeks, significantly reduced their blood sugar and their LDL cholesterol – also known as your “bad” cholesterol. Why? Experts think the spice’s active ingredients increase your cells’ ability to metabolize sugar by up to 20 times.

-Do you commute to work by car? Then, this one’s kind of fun - stink up your car! Psychology professor Bryan Raudenbush from Wheeling Jesuit University says the aroma of cinnamon and mint can help you stay alert and give you a boost of energy for the ride – and for hours afterward. So, break out the Altoids and de-stress your commute.

-Tips to keep you warm. It turns out that ordinary spices like ginger and cinnamon dilate blood capillaries. That boosts the production of heat in the body and makes you feel more comfortable in cold weather. In fact, they’re so powerful, they can make you sweat.

-Have You Sniffed the Air Lately? (This is my favorite, since I love fragrance, and so many of my memories are linked to aromas)
The smell of wood fires, evergreen, and cinnamon is everywhere. It’s definitely the season to be jolly. Why? Because those familiar aromas are one of the reasons the holidays feel so cozy, warm and wonderful. Susan Bowerman, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, says that the reaction to aromas is mental and physical. First, sniffing familiar scents stimulates your brain – and helps you recall pleasant holidays past. And certain smells cause actual chemical changes in your body.
Take gingerbread, for example. The spices include ginger, cloves, nutmeg, anise and molasses. And studies show that baking turns them into mood-boosting chemicals that can cheer you up better than a lot of prescription drugs.
Then, want more energy? Sniff a fresh Christmas tree! The oil that gives evergreens their oomph – called turpineol – is used by aromatherapists to boost energy. So, a couple of whiffs can make it easier to conquer your holiday to-do list.
The next holiday scent does wonders for your attitude: Cinnamon. Experts say the smell is a mood-booster, and creates a sense of soothing warmth and comfort. So to get a sunnier disposition: boil a couple of cinnamon sticks in water on your stovetop.
And the final holiday aroma is stress-reducing citrus. Studies show that scent of orange, lemon and grapefruit lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. So, set out a bowl of oranges, or attack a lemon with a zester to create a citrus-scented room. You’ll feel instantly calmer and more uplifted.
To recap, this holiday season, increase your energy with evergreen, boost your mood with gingerbread, feel sunnier with cinnamon, and stop the stress with citrus. And you’ll be creating a Christmas to remember, a Kwanzaa that captivates, and a very happy Hannukah."
John Tesh: Intelligence for your life

-Have a Happy Autumn Season!

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